Wheelie Bin Storage Sheds

wheelie binAs summer approaches we will find our selves spending more and more time in our gardens. If you’re keen gardener like me you have probably invested a lot of your time and money in creating a wonderful place for you, your family and friends can relax and enjoy the best of the British weather.

No matter how much time or money that we put in to our garden there are some things that will always let your garden down. One of these let downs are your wheelie bins. Every household has at least three wheelie bins, coming in various colours and sizes depending on where you live and the number of people living in your house. No matter what colour the bins are where you live, you cant get away from the fact that they look hideous and make a beautiful garden or patio area look rubbish (pardon the pun).

Over the last few years there has been a boom in sales of wheelie bin storage boxes, which can …

Growing Mushrooms

Growing Mushrooms

Mushrooms are typically grown indoors and not in the garden quite often using mushroom growing kits. It is however possible to grow mushrooms with your own set up in your own area.

First you need to pick a mushroom to grow, popular choices being shiitake, oyster and white button. First you will need to buy spore or spawn of your chosen mushroom from a reputable dealer. Think of these spore as seeds and spawn as seedlings. Spawn is easier to grow than spore and this may be the best thing to start with for a beginner.

Mushrooms require a cool, dark place to grow that is also damp but first you should place your growing medium in a pan and raise the temperature to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating pads work well for this. After the temperature has been reached you should then move your spawn onto the growing medium for your particular mushroom. This could be hardwood, sawdust straw or composted manure. Place the mushroom spawn back on to the heating pad but drop the temperature to about 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next you should cover the spawn with an inch or …

Garden Gazebos

Garden gazebos are tent like garden features that can be constructed of wood, rattan, metal and plastic. You can buy them from garden centres, hardware stores, online stores and they come in various sizes, styles and materials.

Gazebo is a flippant translation from the Latin ‘I will gaze’ and is used to describe a building or structure from which one may enjoy a view over the garden. The original gazebos required an elevated position in order to achieve ‘proper gazing’ and became known as buildings that were placed on natural vantage points. Nowadays of course gazebos are not necessarily placed on a vantage point, nor are they always used for viewing.

Gazebos became especially popular in Elizabethan times when they were used to show off splendid private enclosed gardens to their friends. The buildings themselves were also created to be ornate and show worthy in their own right.

Many public parks have gazebos although they are more commonly known as bandstands due to bands playing there. They are however essentially gazebos and have been used as a place to entertain and banquet for centuries.

Nowadays gazebos, especially those that can be transported are more …

Growing Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes

Growing tomatoes from seed is easy and there is a huge range of varieties out there to choose from which can be grown indoors and outdoors, in containers and hanging baskets. Their only real requirements are heat, sun, food and water to produce sweet and juicy fruits.

When sowing seeds start by filling pots with compost and water then scatter seeds thinly and cover with a thin layer of vermiculite. Label your pots and then place them on a windowsill to germinate. You should see results within two weeks when seedlings will appear and by eight weeks they should be large enough to repot.

When repotting hold the seedlings by the leaves and gently lever them upwards. Make a hole in the new pot, fill with compost and gently lower the plant into the pot. Firm the plant down making sure the roots are covered and the plant is watered. When roots come through the pots move them into bigger ones.

When the first branch of flowers appear on your plants it is time to replant them into grow bags. You should prepare the grow bags by shaking them up and kneading …

Growing Strawberries

Growing Strawberries

As well as being easy to maintain strawberries take up hardly any room, produce beautiful flowers and of course give us delicious fruit to enjoy. They can be grown in a wide variety of soils from light sand to heavy clay and can be planted outdoors from late June to September.

Strawberry plants can produce fruit for five to six years although the amount of fruit produced will start to decline after two years. At this point pests and disease risks will also heighten and become more likely. For these reasons it is probably best to replace them every two to three years.

When planting them prepare the soil by digging over and adding manure then placing the plants every 35cm apart in rows around 75cm apart. Ensure you plant them with the crown at soil level and water well. Next place a net over the plants so that the birds cannot get to the fruit, which they would love to do. Pick the ripe fruit as they ripen so they do not rot on the plant. Check for ripe fruit every other day.

For ultimate strawberry production and growth try regularly …

Plants to attract butterflies

4 Plants to attract butterflies to your garden

Here are five of the best types of plants that will attract butterflies to your garden.

Butterfly Bush (Buddleja  Davidii)

The butterfly bush is by far the most popular shrub to attract butterflies to your garden and will often be covered in butterflies and moths all summer long.  This is an easy to care for shrub and requires little maintenance making it ideal for every garden.

Even when the bush becomes overgrown you can cut it back in winter or early spring and you can cut it back as much as you wish. When it blooms it will be covered in lovely blue, purple and white flowers which will give off lovely scents.

Overview:

Growing Location: Butterfly bush will grown well in most soils but its more suited to locations that get full sunlight with well drained soil.

Butterfly bush can grow quite large if left often up to several feet hight and wide.

Star rating: This gets a five star rating from us.

Phlox

Phlox boasts both beautiful coloured flowers with captivating scents add that to the fact they are relatively easy to grow makes them  a popular plant for many gardeners. Phlox …

Plants to attract Moths

Plants to attract Moths

Moths tend to be overlooked when you think about garden wildlife with butterflies, bees and other insects topping the list. As the moth numbers decrease it has a negative affect not only on their species but also on the plants that they normally pollinate and the animals that rely on them as food.

Important to increase the moth numbers

By choosing certain flowers you can attract both moths and butterflies to visit your garden. Moths need nectar to refuel them and give them the energy they need to fly. By carefully selecting the right flowers that are high in nectar you will begin to see more wildlife around your garden including moths, butterflies and bees.

On this page we are going to look at the types of flowers that attract moths.

  • Aubretia
  • Bluebell
  • Clover
  • Dandelion
  • Pansy
  • Primrose

Flowers producing nectar for late summer.

  • Marigold
  • Ice Plant
  • Knapweed
  • Lavender
  • Mint
  • Thyme
  • Ivy

The trick to increasing the amount of wild life to your back garden is to ensure you are attracting them with the correct plants, flowers and surroundings. In the case of attracting moths your aim is to be increasing the amount of night-scented flowers.

Moths Also love privet, hawthorn and blackthorn hedging together with a …

Growing Extra Tall Sunflowers

GROWING EXTRA TALL SUNFLOWERS

When it comes to sunflowers everyone wants to grow the tallest they possibly can, it has become a fascination for some gardeners. Extra tall varieties include the mammoth American giant hybrid and the skyscraper. The world record for the tallest sunflower is 25ft 5 ½ inches and the largest flower head 32 ¼ inches diameter. The most flowers recorded on a single plant was 837.

Giant sunflowers are grown from seed and can be started indoors or sown directly into the garden. The spacing of the plants should be 2-3 feet apart and if you want to grow them as large as possible go for the three feet. Sunflowers love full sunshine and rich soil, the richer the better. Soil should also be well drained.

To plant dig a hole two to three feet deep and fill with layers of compost, garden soil and manure. This helps promote maximum growth of your sunflower.

Fertiliser is the most important ingredient for the growth of extra tall sunflowers and should have a high nitrogen formula. They also need a regular supply of water and you should not let the soil dry out.

As …

Plants to attract caterpillars

Plants to attract caterpillars

Creating a garden that is centred on attracting wildlife is not only rewarding but it also creates a really nice environment to be in. Naturally creating a garden that attracts butterflies and moths will result in them laying their eggs and in turn helping maintain and grow the next generation.

Its important that you grow the plants that caterpillars feed on in order to maintain their numbers and help sustain the next generation.

So what plants will attract caterpillars I hear you ask!

Here is a list of some of the plants that you can include in your garden to help caterpillars thrive.

  • Black Swallowtail
  • Parsley
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Violets
  • Grass
  • Milkweeds
  • Urtica
  • Clover

Most people will often remove clover along with some of the others listed above from their lawns however these are the kids of plants, weeds and shrubs that will help sustain the caterpillar population.

I have recently been doing a massive renovation with the garden to the back of my mind. It really is the least of my worries at the moment!. This means the grass became over grown and plenty of weeds managed to take hold along with LOTS of clover! When I eventually got around to …

Growing Fennel

Growing Fennel

Fennel has been used for thousands of years as both medicine and flavourings, however these days it’s widely used by chefs all around the world for its superb flavouring.

Planting Fennel

Fennel will grow well almost all gardens but it’s important that you plant it in a location that gets plenty of sunshine. If planting in beds with other plants its recommended that you plant it at the back because it does grow quite tall.

Fennel is part of the carrot / parsley family and is a perennial plant which means it will grow year after year. This herb should not be grown directly near dill. In most cases it produces its best results in its second and third years of blooming.

Growing Fennel from seed is by far the easiest way to grow this herb. Seeds can be sown in spring, make sure you keep the soil moist until it begins to grow, and then thin to between 12 and 18 inches apart when they are around six inches tall. At around 3 months the plant will begin to flower.

Fennel requires very little care making it a great herb to grow, even …